The most important collection of Catholic books and documents in the North West is open to the public again, four years after the closure of the Talbot Library in Preston.
The Bishop of Lancaster has re-opened the 50,000-volume Talbot Collection in its new home at Liverpool Hope University.
“I was very happy to do this,”said the Rt Rev Michael Campbell. “The Diocese of Lancaster and Liverpool Hope, through a careful and close negotiation and collaboration, have managed to keep this collection intact and in the North West of England.
“It is geographically close to our Diocese and with the benefit that this collection is used at the service of young people and others in their education and research, but also kept safe and well in expert hands and secure facilities.”
The Talbot Library in Weston Street, behind St Walburge’s Church, closed its doors in December 2013 after 21 years. There were fears the collection, which includes the works of John Henry Newman, might be broken up. But the agreement to house it at Hope University means it will be kept together and made available for public use.
Bishop Campbell (below), who unveiled a plaque at the university to officially open the collection in its new surroundings, added: “If you were seeking to research the particular flavour of Catholicism in the North Westthen this library is particularly appropriate and sets the benchmark.”